where the "Bismarck wasn't sunk by the british" came from?

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Sid Guttridge
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Re: where the "Bismarck wasn't sunk by the british" came from?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Aug 2019 09:47

Hi Michael,

Fair enough. In the wider scheme of things it doesn't matter either way as the result is much the same. At the end of Bismarck's sortie, Germany had lost its most modern, powerful and only serviceable full battleship, whereas the UK had lost an ageing, obsolescent battlecruiser, which was just one of many capital ships. When Germany's only other full battleship was completed, it barely left coastal waters. I wonder why?

Even if it matters to some individuals, I see no reason to humour their illusions. War is fought to win, it is not a handicap event.

As Stonewall Jackson (I think) said, the object is to get there "the fastest with the mostest." The Royal Navy did just that, with success, and it didn't matter whether Bismarck was much the more modern, better designed vessel, how well her crew fought her, or whether she was, once doomed, scuttled, or not.

Cheers,

Sid

HR715
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Re: where the "Bismarck wasn't sunk by the british" came from?

Post by HR715 » 23 Feb 2020 10:00

This one does the rounds on such a regular basis, " the fair fight" argument simply an idiot's charter in the real world, that which prevailed at the time.
David Mearns does fairly address the scuttling or sunk question, given the issues which "Rhine Exercise" raised and the changes which came from it , this "who sank Bismarck" was at the time not really an issue to be so hotly debated, questioned or argued.

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danebrog
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Re: where the "Bismarck wasn't sunk by the british" came from?

Post by danebrog » 05 Mar 2020 14:49

The scuttling was a face saving measure with a tradition back to SMS Koenigsberg 1915 in the Rufiji river: commiting suicide to avoid homicide and denying the enemy his final success
And so in 1915 Kapitänleutnant Loof reported to Berlin: Destroyed but not defeated...
A satisfying euphemism for loosing a cruiser due to enemy action

One important conclusion reached by David Mearns is that the British gunfire was clearly not enough to sink Bismarck. The short ranges at which the British ultimately engaged Bismarck were simply not allowing shells to penetrate into her vital areas. To be blunt, the shelling was just rearranging debris on Bismarck's deck and causing unnecessary carnage. With this in mind, it is clear that Admiral Tovey's decision to cease shelling and to deploy torpedoes was quite correct.

David concluded that the torpedoes were a significant contributing factor in Bismarck's sinking: He believes that Bismarck was sunk by flooding resulting from shell hits, damage sustained in the Swordfish torpedo attacks (survivor accounts noted the ingress of water aft), flooding/counter-flooding due to the German's own damage control to put out internal fires, and of course, the final torpedoes. He cites that the ship was clearly wallowing before the scuttling actually began and most decisively, the ship rolled over and sank in conjunction with the impact of Dorsetshire's last torpedo. He does not dismiss the reports of scuttling, but believes that this only hastened the inevitable by a matter of minutes.

http://www.hmshood.com/hoodtoday/2001ex ... ncrypt.htm

Account of Gerhard Junack who was in charge for activating the scuttling charges
source: http://www.kbismarck.com/bismarck-last-hours.html

Conclusion: Damage control became futile. Activating the scuttling charges was just a final formality.
And regarding the "it wasn´t a fair fight" apologetes:
quote.jpg
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aurelien wolff
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Re: where the "Bismarck wasn't sunk by the british" came from?

Post by aurelien wolff » 09 Mar 2020 09:38

Also wasn't the bismarck already destroyed when it was scuttled?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: where the "Bismarck wasn't sunk by the british" came from?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Mar 2020 11:02

Hi Aurelian wolf,

Fair point. The Germans didn't show much inclination to scuttle her before she was disabled!

Cheers,

Sid.

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danebrog
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Re: where the "Bismarck wasn't sunk by the british" came from?

Post by danebrog » 09 Mar 2020 15:20

aurelien
The Bismarck was so utterly devastated it completely (and irreversibly) ceased to exist as combat capable force.
Do you know another definition than „destroyed“ who´s not an elaborate euphemisn?

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